Understanding Rosacea

“We’re often presented with patients with redness, flushing, acne papules or, in some cases, all together – so here is a little overview of Rosacea and my experience of the Condition.”
Karen Miller RGN

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects the face, causing redness, visible blood vessels, swelling, and sometimes, acne-like breakouts. It can be confused with hormonal issues and late-onset Acne.

It typically appears in adulthood and can vary in severity, from mild to severe cases that significantly impact a person’s appearance and self-confidence. We have seen many patients over the last 20 years at our clinic.

Causes: The exact cause of Rosacea remains unclear, but several things contribute to its development. These include genetics, environmental triggers, abnormalities in blood vessels, immune system responses, and certain microorganisms on the skin. Specific triggers vary among individuals but can include sun exposure, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, temperature changes, and certain skincare products.

Symptoms: Rosacea symptoms can manifest differently in patients but commonly include:

  1. Persistent facial redness: Often in the central part of the face, like the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead.
  2. Visible blood vessels: Small, dilated blood vessels become more apparent, creating a spider-like appearance.
  3. Swelling: Skin can become swollen and sensitive, especially during flare-ups.
  4. Acne-like breakouts: Pimples and bumps resembling Acne can appear, though they’re unrelated to bacterial infections.

Differential Diagnosis:

This is so important.

Several conditions share similarities with Rosacea, making a proper diagnosis crucial. Differential diagnoses include:

  1. Acne: Rosacea can resemble Acne, but it lacks blackheads and typically occurs in older adults.
  2. Lupus: This autoimmune disease can cause a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, which might be mistaken for Rosacea. There are tests that we can request from your doctor for this Condition, and we do refer back to GPS
  3. Seborrheic Dermatitis: Often mistaken for Rosacea due to similar redness and scaling, but it’s usually around the nose and eyebrows.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Some allergic reactions, like contact dermatitis, can mimic rosacea symptoms.


Whilst Rosacea is not cured, various treatments can help manage and control its symptoms. Treatment plans are often personal to you based on the severity and specific symptoms experienced by the patient.

These can include:

  1. Topical Medications: Prescription creams and gels containing antibiotics, azelaic acid, or other anti-inflammatory agents can reduce redness and swelling. We can prescribe or write to your doctor about these
  2. Oral Medications: Antibiotics, like doxycycline or isotretinoin, might be prescribed for more severe cases to reduce inflammation.As above
  3. Laser Therapy: Intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser treatments can effectively reduce visible blood vessels and redness. My Favourite part, but this comes later after systemic medications and topicals have been used if required. We Use Medical IPL and YAG lasers for this
  4. Skincare Adjustments: Gentle skincare routines using non-irritating products and sunscreen can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Please keep it simple

Clinical Research and Emerging Treatments

Ongoing clinical research aims to enhance understanding and develop more effective treatments for Rosacea. Some areas of focus include:

  1. New Topical Therapies: Researchers are exploring novel topical medications with improved efficacy and fewer side effects.
  2. Microbiome Research: Investigating the role of skin microorganisms in Rosacea to develop targeted therapies.
  3. Immunotherapy: Exploring treatments that modulate the immune response to alleviate symptoms.Exciting
  4. Combination Therapies: Studying combinations of medications or treatments for better outcomes.

Emerging therapies from clinical trials might offer more targeted and efficient ways to manage Rosacea in the future, providing hope for improved outcomes and symptom control.

Understanding Rosacea, its triggers, and available treatments is crucial for individuals with this Condition.

Seeking guidance ensures proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan tailored to individual needs.

I’ve attached a guideline of Products and pathways that should be considered.

With ongoing research, there’s hope for more advanced therapies to enhance the management of Rosacea and improve the quality of life for those affected.

All in all, it is a condition that, in a way, never goes away but can be controlled by avoiding triggers, making a proper diagnosis and finding a treatment that works for you.

Karen Miller Rgn,PgCert (Salford)

Treatments for rosacea

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